The Michigan Baseball program received some rough news as it is expected that head coach Erik Bakich will be departing Ann Arbor to take over the Clemson program.
Bakich had been the Wolverines’ head coach since 2013, and posted a very impressive run at Michigan, going 328-216, winning two conference titles, and advancing all the way to the College World Series in 2019. He certainly leaves the program better off than he found it.
Now, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel is tasked with finding his replacement, and he will certainly have some interesting options available to him. The Michigan Insider’s Zach Shaw put together a solid list of candidates that the Wolverines could target, and several options seem to be both plausible and exciting. Some of the more notable names include former Michigan star Chris Fetter, now the pitching coach for the beleaguered Detroit Tigers, along with former Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge, and heralded Vanderbilt assistant Scott Brown.
Why Jordan Bischel is the best option for Michigan baseball
However, one option sticks out quite clearly among the rest, and he’s located just two hours drive north on US-127 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Central Michigan Chippewas head coach Jordan Bischel is an ideal candidate to take over for Bakich in running the Michigan program. The Green Bay native is a former Division III pitcher from St. Norbert’s (WI), who has since made his way up the coaching ladder to take over the Chippewas.
Unlike Inge, Fetter, or Brown, Bischel has significant head coaching experience, getting his start as Midland’s head coach in 2013. He went 74-45 for the NAIA program, winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference in his second year. He made the jump up to Division II, as head coach of the in-state Northwood Timberwolves, winning 137 games in four years with conference titles in both 2017 and 2018.
That led to his tenure at Central Michigan where he has been the past four years, winning the MAC title his first season on the job and posting an impressive overall record of 138-54.
Bischel is an ideal candidate due to both his success at multiple levels, his lengthy head coaching experience, and his ties to the state. While he has not yet had his opportunity to manage a power-conference program like Michigan, the Wolverines will have to move quickly, as Bischel is in fairly high demand, with the likes of Kansas, Ohio State ($), and possibly even Florida State, where the Seminoles athletic director, Michael Alford, hired Bischel to his current role when Alford was the AD at Central Michigan.
Overall, Bakich’s efforts have left Michigan baseball as a desirable program in the Big Ten, and they will certainly have some quality options to replace Bakich with.
Bischel is certainly one of the most intriguing ones, and the Wolverines should do whatever it takes to secure him as the next head coach of Michigan baseball.